Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Inadequate Response to Critically Endangered Dolphins

Media Statement

Friday 16 May 2014


New Zealand’s Inadequate Response to Critically Endangered Dolphins Back in Global Spotlight


“The world’s rarest marine dolphins are in the global spotlight once again as expert Dr Liz Slooten presents the latest science on their status to the International Whaling Commission” says dolphin advocate Christine Rose, chair of New Zealand based Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins Education/Action Inc. “Maui’s Dolphins are the world’s rarest and smallest marine dolphin, found only here in coastal New Zealand waters. But we’ll be shown up for our inadequate response to their critically endangered situation when Dr Slooten’s research is presented to the IWC”. “Not only is the Government failing to save these most beautiful, and rarest of all marine dolphins, but the Department of Conservation is failing to deliver on research and monitoring objectives as well”. “At least $35,000 was allocated in operating budgets to carry out annual research into Maui’s population, distribution and breeding this year. But the DoC boat has sat on the dry. One would think given the pressures these dolphins face, and the shortage of funding for DoC work generally, that they would spend available money where it’s most needed. Both the Government and its agencies are letting down the dolphins, reneging on obligations arising from the Maui’s Dolphin Threat Management Plan, showing our inadequacies for all the world to see, and shamefully supporting extinction”.

Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins expert Dr Liz Slooten who is Associate Professor in Otago University’s Department of Zoology, is presenting papers showing that an untenable number of Maui’s dolphins continue to be killed in gill nets each year. An estimated 3-4 Maui’s dolphins continue to be killed in nets annually, a clearly unsustainable rate given the “sadly low baseline estimate of 55 individuals (based on 2010 research)” says Mrs Rose.

“Maui’s dolphins are frequently seen by surfers and swimmers off West Coast beaches and hold a special place in New Zealander’s hearts” says Mrs Rose. “We can’t believe that the Government continue to fail these wee dolphins, individually and collectively, and seem intent on consigning them to extinction”. “Where there are resources available such as is the case with the allocated budget, we think DoC have a responsibility to ensure research work is done. There are some indications that this could be a good breeding year for Maui’s dolphins, but until DoC get onto the water and quantify this, we’re none the wiser. Given the precarious position of Maui’s dolphins, the fact that the world is watching us for a response to their situation, and that budgets are available, we would have hoped for a better response from DoC”, says Mrs Rose, a campaigner for Maui’s & Hector’s dolphins for over 15 years.

“The Government are only now proposing introducing observers on the trawl fishing fleet off the North Island West Coast core habitat, at a rate of 25% coverage over the next four years, which is clearly inadequate, even while Governmental and independent scientists agree that the capture and kill rate by net entrapment is at an unsustainable level”. “The people of New Zealand, and of the world, have every right to expect that a developed country like New Zealand would take all measures to protect and enhance this species, but it seems Government agencies are just waiting till they die out”. “They’re sitting on their (bloodied) hands. Their response is woefully inadequate. They have no excuses”. “The budget is there. There’s public support and international attention. What more incentive do they need?”

ENDS


Notes:

Maui’s dolphins are a small, slow breeding endemic dolphin found only on the West Coast of the North Island. Recent studies show a population as low as around 55 adults and only 20 breeding females, from about 1000 in the 1970s. As a small inshore dolphin they are vulnerable to a range of human threats, with 80% of deaths from set or gill nets. Seismic testing, pollution and boat strike are other risks.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The plan is the second component of the Party’s environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil spills.

The Green Party loves New Zealand and will create a cleaner environment where our beaches remain open for swimming, not closed for oil spills.

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling;
2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping;
3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and
4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news